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17 February 2021

Extension of measures relating to virtual AGMs and signing and sending electronic documents

As part of our economic plan, the Morrison Government will introduce legislation into Parliament to extend the application of temporary relief measures introduced at the height of the coronavirus crisis relating to virtual AGMs and signing and sending electronic documents.

Specifically, the Treasury Laws Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Bill will extend from 21 March 2021 to 15 September 2021 the expiry date of the temporary relief allowing companies to use technology to meet regulatory requirements to hold meetings, such as annual general meetings, distribute meeting-related materials and validly execute documents.

Following 15 September 2021, member meetings will need to be conducted consistent with pre-COVID-19 laws which require an-in person meeting to be held.

The Government will also conduct a 12 month opt-in pilot for companies to hold hybrid annual general meetings to enable a proper assessment of the shareholder benefits of virtual meetings.

The Government will finalise permanent changes to allow electronically signing and sending documents prior to the expiry of these temporary arrangements on 15 September.

Extension of this temporary relief will allow businesses to continue to comply with their regulatory requirements as they continue to deal with and emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.